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Sunday, July 24, 2011


The Reason

I am the cancer wanting more.
I fill my gasoline tank with war.
I drink poverty in coffee and politics in coke.
Children are stitched in the seams of my shirt.
A dirty old man pockets my coin.
Manhattan’s canyons are my cocoon.
My daughters are raised by a refugee.
My house is built out of forests that breathe.
Fourteen cameras watch my door.
I am the cancer wanting more.

If not for me they would earn no wage,
grow no flowers, sell no leaves.
That’s why there are continents, master and slave;
why religions, righteous apartheid;
why pandemics, generational genocide.
All the four horsemen ride through their homes,
but I sleep well in my temperate zone.
I take pride in the stuff I own.
I want to help them to turn the page;
If not for me they would earn no wage.

Someone who knows the taste of rats
will have to put them on the boats
and let them in. I am not of their tribe.
I meet them on vacation. I do not bide
at the back of my tent blind from disease
awaiting my killers or my next meal.
I am evolved. Success orphaned me.
Someone will have to do something more
deserving of a parade than winning a war,
Someone who knows the taste of rats.

David Haskins performing at ArtWord/Artbar - Hamilton, Ontario

David Haskins first poetry collection was Reclamation (Borealis Press, 1980). He has published poetry and fiction in books, anthologies, and literary journals across the country. He has won first prizes from the CBC, the Canadian Authors Association (Niagara), the Ontario Poetry Society, and Arts Hamilton. His work has been broadcast on CBC and posted on several internet sites. He lives with his wife on the shores of Lake Ontario.

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